As I was getting ready to put my shoes on this morning, I slammed two of my toes into a chair leg. I don't think they're broken, but they hurt like the dickens.

This has not put a positive spin on my day.

Ah well. It's Friday, and I'm leaving here early to go to tonight's Blue & Gold banquet. Good weekend of food, football and geekery on tap.

Not much else to talk about here. Have a good weekend, y'all.

Convention Countdown
Origins: 138 Days!
TCEP 18: 210 Days!
Intervention: 224 Days!
So, yeah, here we go...

Saturday, Nov 20 )
Sunday, Nov 21 )
Monday, Nov 22 )
Tuesday, Nov 23 )
Wednesday, Nov 24 )
Thursday, Nov 25 )
Friday, Nov 26 )
Saturday, Nov 27 )
Sunday, Nov 28 )
As I usually do, I find myself extremely thankful for a number of things this year:
  • [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, B, & F.
  • My job and [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0's job
  • My clueless end-users
  • My in-laws.
  • My family
  • The fact that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back.
  • And perhaps most especially, my friends, whether near or far, whether they read this drivel I write or not. (and that does mean all of you)


Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, I would ask one thing from each and every one of you. Please, try to remember to be thankful for each and every blessing in your life every day. Let the people in your life know you are thankful for them. Let us not give thanks only on Thanksgiving, but every day.

And I am thankful for all of you. Believe me when I say that even when I don't comment, I am reading what you write, and rejoice with you in your triumphs, and weep with thee in thy sorrows.

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

--Bing Crosby, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)
Hey there, folks! Hope you're all doing well!

So, here's what has transpired since having seen you last.
cut for rambly length )
As I usually do, I find myself extremely thankful for a number of things this year:
  • [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, B, & F.
  • My new job, and the people who "prompted" me to find it
  • My clueless end-users
  • My in-laws.
  • My family
  • The fact that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back.
  • And perhaps most especially, my friends, whether near or far, whether they read this drivel I write or not. (and that does mean all of you)


Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, I would ask one thing from each and every one of you. Please, try to remember to be thankful for each and every blessing in your life every day. Let the people in your life know you are thankful for them. Let us not give thanks only on Thanksgiving, but every day.

And I am thankful for all of you. Believe me when I say that even when I don't comment, I am reading what you write, and rejoice with you in your triumphs, and weep with thee in thy sorrows.

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

--Bing Crosby, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)
Well, the "Colorful and not very shy" John C. Welch has just posted the following story via Twitter:

Britain bars entry to anti-gay U.S. preacher

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - An anti-gay U.S. Christian preacher and his daughter have been barred from entering Britain as they could spread "extremism and hatred," the British government said Thursday.

The Reverend Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, had been due in Britain to protest at a play about the murder of a gay man.

But British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she had decided to prevent Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from entering the country.
Rest of story behind cut for the link-phobic )
OK, I'm no fan of Fred Phelps, his family, or the Westboro Cult. I mean, these are the poster children for giving Christianity, and indeed any religion, a bad name. And were I to read that they and their hatred were struck by lightning, split in half, burned to the ground, and sunk into the swamp, I might give out a cheer

But, having freedom of speech means that you take the good, the bad and the ugly. I think that in refusing them entry, The British government is taking a step down an awfully steep, slick slope that they need to be avoiding.

Phelps is an asshole of the largest possible proportions. And yet, he has the right to believe as he wishes and to speak as he wishes, just as I have the right to ignore his hate-filled rhetoric.

And for the record, when I say "ignore", I don't mean that I pretend this asshat doesn't exist. Rather, were he in my face spewing his venom, I can walk away. I sure ain't gonna engage this moron in debate - you can't win arguments with idiots like him; they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. He's looking for a fight. He's looking for a platform to practice his pedagogery. I don't have to give him that. I can (and will) walk away.

Turning people away won't stop hatred.

Silencing "Hate speech" doesn't stop hatred.

The only thing that can stop hatred is love. The love that we, as humans, have for one another. The love that is reflected in how we treat one another.

I offer this example from my own life:

During high school, I played football. For 3 summers, I went to a week long camp to help improve my skills. One year, another player took a dislike to me. I don't know why - he just did. Gave me grief during practices. Insulted me at every opportunity. A number of the other players there came up to me during the week and basically told me that they had no idea why he was being such an ass.

Well, Thursday rolled around, and his room mate was going around to the other campers asking if anyone had any aspirin, Tylenol, or something similar. He asked the guy I was rooming with, who told him "no", and started to leave. Now, my Mom never sent us anywhere for any length of time without certain basic supplies, including Tylenol. I hollered at him to wait, got out the meds, and gave him 3 of them. The guy looked at me in disbelief; after all, he had apologized for his roomies asshat behavior just a day or two earlier. He took them and disappeared.

That night at dinner, the asshole sat down across from me and apologized for being an asshole all week. He thanked me for the Tylenol, and we got along OK for the last day.

My point, then, is that love, compassion & caring can all be transformative. And as hard as it is at times, it is the only way to truly end the hatred bourne by people like Fred Phelps and the WBC.
So, here's what happened...
Wednesday )
Thursday )
Friday )
Saturday )
Sunday )
Monday )
Finally, I am extremely thankful for a number of things this year:
  • [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, B, & F.
  • My job
  • My clueless end-users
  • My parents, brothers, and sisters in law.
  • My family
  • The fact that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back.
  • My friends, whether near or far, whether they read this drivel I write or not. (and that does mean all of you)


Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, I would ask one thing from each and every one of you. Please, try to remember to be thankful for each and every blessing in your life every day. Let the people in your life know you are thankful for them. Let us not give thanks only on Thanksgiving, but every day.

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

--Bing Crosby, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)
1: It's finally raining. Good.

2: Home Depot is once again cordially invited to eat a bag of dicks.
Wow, it's Monday.  Another Thanksgiving weekend gone in a cloud of turkey, football, pie, and travel.

And you know what?  It was a great weekend.

But before I go into that, I need to do a bit of

Administrivia:  Welcome to [livejournal.com profile] moonshadowed , an old friend who has found my LJ,  Hope I don't bore ya too much darlin'...

I've already talked about Thanksgiving day.  Or at least, all I'm going to discuss in public about it.  So let's start with...

Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )

Quotes from the weekend )
Finally, I am extremely thankful for a number of things this year:
  • [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 , B, & F.
  • My job
  • My clueless end-users
  • My parents, brothers, and sisters in law.
  • My family
  • The fact that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back.
  • My friends, whether near or far, whether they read this tripe I write or not.
Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, I would ask one thing  from each and every one of you.  Please, try to remember to be thankful for each and every blessing in your life every day.  Let the people in your life know you are thankful for them.  Let us not give thanks only on Thanksgiving, but every day.

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

--Bing Crosby, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)
It's finally starting to feel like Autumn to me.  A nice crisp chill in the morning, leaves on the ground, bright colors on the trees.  Almost makes me wish we had a yard to rake so that the kids and I could go jumping in the leaf piles.

Autumn is probably my favorite season.  The colors, the holidays, the family moments, the end of the heat, football - it all brings back so many memories, and promises more new ones to be treasured.

Hell, I'm even sort of falling into my father's old patterns.  For many years, he took off the week of Thanksgiving and embarked on some home renovation project.  Usually painting, but not always.  And here I am, getting ready to paint. 

sigh

Scarily enough, and I never thought I'd say this, but I'm almost ready for the local station to start their 24 hr Christmas music.  Yeah, it's a ClearChannel spit! station, which means that they play the same songs way too much, but I think that I'm ready for the holiday season.  And I think the world is in need of some "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men".

Thanksgiving is way early this year.  2 weeks from tomorrow.  EEP!

When I talked about our holiday traditions in this post, I think the one that was most remarked on was the tradition we have of setting an extra place at the table for the unexpected guest.  For as long as I can remember, my family has always had an unspoken rule or policy that there was always room for one more at our table.

That rule or sentiment or policy or whatever you want to call it is alive and well in me today.  I have been blessed in my life with a wonderful extended family, a wonderful wife and children, and a reasonable amount of luck in my employment.  It may not have always paid what I liked, but I was employed. 

I look back over the last 12 months and can honestly say that this has been a good year overall.  My in-laws have not spent much time in the hospital, we are all reasonably happy and healthy,  I have a new "nephew", and another nephew or niece is on the way.  Weddings have happened, cons have been attended, and generally speaking, even with the low points, it's been good.

We currently have plans underway to share our fortune and bounty with some friends who are not having the best of years, and we are honored that they have accepted our invitation. 

If you have the means and the opportunity, I encourage you to reach out to friends and family who have had a bad time of things. 

It's more than worth the time and effort.  Trust me.

Peas.  Out.
Welcome to November, one and all.

Hard to believe that in 3 weeks, I will be sitting in front of my TV, watching the end of the parades.  and I've only done about 5% of my food shopping!  EEP!

Meh.  Not a big deal, really.  Actually kind of waiting to see what stores have what deals on their food.  Especially turkeys.  I'm seeing ~$.50/lb right now on the non-national name brand.  When you buy 20+ lb turkeys, it adds up quickly.  Besides, after I'm done brining them, it doesn't much matter.  Dee-lish!

So, last night, I  stopped on the way home, picked up our annual Hallowe'en pizza, and got things ready for the little ghosties and ghoulies!  After I had some pizza, I put it somewhere safe and started sanding the ceiling.

I hate doing drywall.

Apparently, however, my being covered in drywall compound dust made for an effective costume, as I seem to have scared a number of the neighborhood kids! 

But for now, the second coat of compound is on, and I should be able to sand it lightly on Saturday and be done with that facet of it. 

The kids made out like bandits yesterday, coming home with a good haul of treats.  They had fun at the party, and during the whole evening.  Good.  That's what last night was supposed to be about.

Fred Phelps and the WBC )

One final thought:  The end of year holiday season is upon us.  And although I am certain to expound more on the spiritual side of all of this in later posts, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone not to get so caught up in the buying and cooking and preparing and hustle and bustle that you forget about the real meaning of why we do this.  Remember to be thankful, to be kind, to be caring, to love one another.  It's hard to do sometimes, especially since (at times) we seem to be sharing the planet with several million arseholes.  Lead by example.

Peas.  Out.

bleah

Oct. 24th, 2007 12:37 pm
It's a cool, gray, wet day here in the greater Baltimore - DC area.  And while we need the rain, the weather patterns are not doing anything for my mood.

Which is, as the title implies, "bleah".

Don't know why though.  Except for the fact that my uncle is in the hospital after having a heart attack, things are actually going pretty well for us. 

I just...don't wanna be here. 

In other news, back at home, I'm trying to take up a lot of the chores at the moment, since [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 comes home pretty tired 3 days a week (from Starbucks).  I know it's gonna take her some time to get used to the routine.  After all, the jobs she's been working have been pretty much desk-type jobs.  Now she's up and going for 8+ hrs a day, and it gets tiring some days.

Meanwhile, California is burning.  I'm half expecting that asshat Fred Phelps and his hate group...I mean WBC to picket there, claiming that this is part of "God's Anger".  Here's hoping that everyone gets to safety, that no more lives are lost, and the weather cooperates to bring it under control.

My main page is now iGoogle.  My cubemate uses it, and hooked me.  This happened about the same time as Yahoo changed the format of My Yahoo and pissed me off. So, yeah, iGoogle. 

Bumper sticker seen on the way to work:  I never thought I'd miss Nixon.

Oh yeah.  From the "Piss me off" files:  Fearmongering.  Or, more to the point, alleged news sources asking if we're worried about and/or ready for a terrorist attack.

Personally, no, I'm not worried, and I'm not taking any "special precautions".  There is no such thing as a "safe life".  Hell, that new super-bacteria?  A direct result of trying to live that "safe life".  At any given moment, I could die.  A truck could go out of control, lightning can strike, comets can fall, asshole cow-irkers can mix up the ground and hot leads on electrical wiring. 

Every moment we have on this earth is a blessing, because every moment could be our last. 

If I was to worry about everything that might happen, I'd be paralyzed.  I'm not going to worry about terrorists because thats what they want you to do.  I'm not going to worry about supergerm, because I'll either get it or not, and my body will fight it or not, and there's not a whole lot I can do about that, either. 

So here's my message to all the sheeple:

Stop living in fear and start living. 
Avril Lists Her Own '10 Commandments' (link goes to a scan of the article)

DEAL WITH IT. Selling 24 million albums hasn't really affected me, but it has changed things. I can't walk into a room full of people any more without everybody turning their heads, and I can only eat in certain restaurants where I know I won't get hassled. But that's OK. I was born to do this, and so I've learned how to cope.

DEVELOP AN IMAGE. Someone like Kelly Clarkson is beautiful and has a pretty voice, but with me you get a much stronger image. I'm tough, I have a look that girls want to copy, and I sound a particular way. It's good if you're not easily ignored. And I'm not.

DON'T GET MAD, GET EVEN. I was 17 when my first album (Let Go, 2002) came out, and all of a sudden I had to spend my days doing interviews. Listen, when you are 17 you don't know how to hold a conversation with an adult, and you pretty much don’t want to. But I learned to channel that annoyance into my music.

PARTY HARD. BUT NOT TOO HARD. When I go to a party, I am the party! I'm the girl doing shots, jumping on tables, screaming and getting wasted. Am I advocating drugs? No! When I say get wasted, that doesn't mean go crazy. Drink in moderation. Be responsible, yeah?

PRACTISE GOOD KARMA. I am a very giving person. When the hurricane thing happened (in New Orleans, August 2005) I went to my close, filled six boxes of stuff and said to my assistant, "take it to Katrina!" I also like to give stuff to people who are my "workers", especially if they don't make much money.

BE GRATEFUL. It's important to be thankful, even if you're poor. I mean, come on, we all have clean water — well, ok, not people in the developing world. It's important to remember where we came from and just how lucky we are to be here.

ADVOCATE SPIRITUALITY. I'm not particularly religious, but I am spiritual. What kind? Feng shui, mostly, and energy. I'm good at picking up people's energy, like I'm receptive or something.

FINDING MR RIGHT. I got married last year (to Deryck Whibley of Sum 41) simply because I was lucky enough to find the right guy. Did I tame him (Whibley once confessed to a fondness for mushrooms and ecstasy)? Hey, we were both party animals once, so we've tamed each other.

EXTEND YOURSELF. I want to get into movies next, a lead role in a super cool indie flick. I've been looking at scripts for the past two years now and most of them have been shit, but I know I could be real good at it. I have an agent now, and everything.

LOVE YOURSELF. People love me and people hate me, but I'm comfortable in my own skin and that's what counts. And anyway, if you do hate me, you're the loser, not me.


Ok, see, my problem is that I don't find this at all WTF. Except maybe, maybe, the audacity to call them "10 commandments". Actually, in a number of ways, more people can stand to live by some of these rules. Dealing with it, Being grateful, extending yourself, loving yourself, practicing good Karma - all traits that need to be more prevalent in today's society, IMNSHO. Doesn't matter who is saying it, the essential truth remains the same.
So here we are at Tuesday. My beloved Philadelphia Eagles lost again last night - and this time, no stupid, STUPID plays on special teams to blame. The defense did a good job despite some injuries, but the offense flatlined until the 4th quarter. We didn't deserve to win that game.

Naturally, I got a lot of ribbing this morning when I came to work, seeing as how I'm in Redskins territiory and all. There were signs up around my cubicle today stating that "The occupant of this cubicle is on suicide watch If you see anything disturbing, please call 1-800-GO-SKINS" and "Friends don't let friends be Eagles Fans". It's all good; I knew it was coming.

There's a picture on the fifth floor lobby here at work that I like quite a bit, for some reason. The title is Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone, 02/1931. A larger version of the picture can be found here. Aside from the brilliance of the idea (well, you can't outright buy the kind of goodwill Capone generated by this, plus I'm willing to bet he found all sorts of new "employees" among the people that came), I find myself feeling nostalgic. Not for the depression, as I am not that old, thankyouverymuch, but for, of all places, my Grandmother's house. Most holidays found us over there at some point, with the possible exception of Thanksgiving. But this always brings me back to the summer ones, with the grill going in the side area, the kids playing wiffleball in the area where the pool used to be. I remember the family using tupperware hamburger presses, and this little gadget that made a spiral cut down your hot dogs. I remember trying Pringles there for the first time (Remember, not released nationally until 1975). Lawn Darts, horseshoes, quoits - all orders of the day.

Does any of that have a point? Probably not. Well, maybe the lawn darts. Just feeling nostalgic.

Looks like we will be heading for the MD Renaissance Faire on Saturday, Oct. 6. We may splurge and get 2 day passes so we can go back again on the 20th with the MSD folks, but that is yet to be seen.

Ok, I'm out of things at the moment. I've got 2.5 hrs to go, and really, I'd like to nap.

For some reason, they frown on that at work.
...in which our hero explains an earlier post.

While I was, in fact, ranting about the local housing market and the fact that it's farging ridiculous, I am also well aware (and unsuprised by) the cost of housing on LBI. Especially housing that is on the waterfront, as that one was. $3 million is actually not in the top tier of pricing for LBI. But then, what do you want for a home on the shore? Trust me, the prices are like that all up and down the coast.

Sometime in the last year, I have come to the realization that despite the potential for storm/flooding damage, I would actually love to live on LBI. Even better would be a site where I could watch the sun go down over Barnegat Bay.

Sadly, I have not hit the lottery.

My point, I suppose, is that I should know better than to look at real estate listings at all. Either I get disgusted with the local ones, or I find myself looking towards areas that I might like to be in, but can't afford.

Either way, it puts me in a mood, and really, I don't wanna be in it.

It's Friday, and time to put such thoughts behind me. Have a good one, folks!
grayhawkfh: (Tat)
I ranted last night/early this morning. Why so late? Had mainly to do with the fact that I was writing it in my head while I was trying to go to sleep. After about an hour of tossing and turning, I finally got up, went out to the confuser, fired up Word, and started typing furiously.

3 pages later, I posted it. I was able to sleep after that.

I reread it this morning. I still like it. That's a bit unusual; I usually find something I want to change in what I've written the next day. Not this time.

I stand by what I said. It's time for a change.
Have a happy, have a happy, have a hap-hap-happy new year!

Welcome to 2004, everyone. May it bring us everything we wish for, and may it keep the darkness far from our doors.
It's about 2130 hours, EST, and for the first time since 0730 hours, the condo is quiet (except when I forget about the stupid musical socks I'm wearing and accidentally trigger them...) Monica is sitting in her recliner going through the box of Buffy CCG (Angel's Curse expansion) cards that Frankie gave her, smiling like the cat what just caught the canary. Both kids are in bed, worn out beyond belief ("But Daddy, I'm not tired!" zzzzzzZZZZZzzzzz). Me, I'm sitting here at the computer, sipping some 18 year old Glenlivet, and trying to write something today that effectively captures my mood.

I'm kinda in this mood that is a funky cross between nostalgic, contented, and ecstatic. Yeah, Santa Mouse was good to me this year, as I got some books that I wanted (including the 3e Ravenloft GM Guide) and some cool movies (three Gamera movies on DVD). But above and beyond all of that, The best gift I received today, by far, was the looks on Bridget & Frankie's faces as they went through the day, from the first moment that they realized that Santa had come, to their rapt attention to the PowerPuff Girls Movie. The sheer, unadulterated joy and rapture as they navigated the chaos of the day was wonderful to behold. And yes, the look of surprise on Monica's face was also great too, as she unwrapped her prezzies, but nothing beats the look on a kids face. Seeing them today banished all depressive thoughts for the day, and I knew that despite my earlier misgivings, this was another wonderful Christmas for the family.

I say nostalgic because I found myself reminiscing back to a Christmas many moons ago, when I was, oh, I dunno, somewhere between 7 and 10 years old, I guess, when I got this Wonder Woman playset, that came complete with supervillian, Wonder Woman, Invisible Jet, a green tower (kinda like a radio antenna which was easily put together and taken apart), and a spring loaded "bomb" which "went off" when you pushed the plunger (so you could blow up the tower). IIRC, Stooo got a playset that the wall blew up, but I don't remember which superhero it was. We had soooo much fun with those sets that year. Other neat toys I remember include Six Million Dollar Man action figures, Battlestar Galactica ships (but the missiles didn't "fire" away from the ship - they were "safety missiles" which only went about 1 inch out...), and the electronic Dungeons & Dragon's Labyrinth game. Now, I didn't get all of this in the same year; these are some of the reminiscings of 30+ years of Christmases.

I think my point in all of this is that, somehow, my parents always knew just what little gifts we would love. I don't know how they did it, but they always managed to help capture the joy and magic of Christmas for my brothers and myself.

Thanks Mom & Dad. I can only hope that I somehow manage to do this half as well as you did.

Merry Christmas to you all, and, if I may be indulged, a small quote from Charles Dickens:

"...and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!"
Last night at rehearsal, I was struck by an interesting thought. Y'see, I'm running sound for Tantallon Community Player's production of their USO Christmas Show. It's set during World War II, after the liberation of France. It's a recreation of a USO radio show for Christmas, hosted by Bob Hope, and having such notables as Pearl Biley, Lena Horne, The Andrews Sisters, & Nat Cole, to name a few.

What struck me was how little the cast understood the mindset of the country during that time. Now, don't get me wrong. I certainly have no memories of that time. Heck, I doubt that my father, born in 1941, has any meaningful recollections of that time. But, listening to stories that my grandmother told, that my in-laws tell, and countless other articles and shows that I've read and seen, I have a reasonable idea of the mood of the country was at the time. How everyone pulled together as a nation, to sacrifice and support our troops fighting overseas to stop the Nazi regime. I also admit that my understanding is necessarily limited: I never really experienced it.

Having said all that, what struck me last night was how many of the people on stage, about half of whom are older than I am, really seemed to have no idea at all of this. Sure, I expect it from the younger kids, but not necessarily from the older actors, some of whom are older than my dad.

In a way, it's sad, really, because I don't know if we'll ever see that in America again. There's too much "I" going on in the country, not enough "we". If you ever needed proof of that, you need look no further than here, the nations capitol. In order for a family to even *attempt* to own a house around here, it's nearly mandatory for both parents to work, which leaves less time for them to spend time with their children and each other, and all for what? A house which, if in, say, Ohio, would cost half as much? If that. And then we wonder why the schools are having such problems, when the parents can't be involved because they're too busy trying to keep a roof over their kids heads.

I don't understand this country that I live in. I don't understand this "human race" that I am supposedly a part of. I don't understand the culture of the area I'm currently living in. All these politicians decrying the loss of "Family Values", while the big businesses that fund their election campaigns continually devalue those values. They rail against the breakdown of the "American Family" while actively assisting in that breakdown.

::Grayhawk looks around, confused. He wonders where the soapbox he's standing on came from::

I'm ranting. Sorry.

To all veterans: thanks for your service and sacrifice.

And now, I think I need to get some lunch...

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Frank N. Huminski

February 2014

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